Like pizza and tacos, burgers are good even when they're sort of bad. But as hard as it is to mess up a burger, it’s even more difficult to make it really great.
That’s where The Daily Meal comes in. In June, editors of the popular foodie website first compiled the country's 300 top burgers by combining data from online reviews and local roundups. Then, they asked a panel of food writers and culinary experts to vote on their favorites to create the 101 Best Burgers in America.
With all the buzz around Alamo City, it should be no surprise that a local restaurant made the cut. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the Texas Monthly-approved Folc Burger at Bexar Pub or one of the over-the-top monsters popular on Instagram feeds, but a burger that's as San Antonio as it gets.
Chris Madrid’s iconic Tostada Burger came in at No. 61 on the list for its reinterpretation of the San Antonio-born bean burger. The Daily Meal editors praised the long-running restaurant's innovations — like subbing in cheddar for traditional Cheez Whiz and making the corn chips in house — saying it all plays well with the sweetness of the toasted bun.
While the eatery is still recovering from a devastating fire in October 2017, owner Richard Peacock set up an outdoor version of the restaurant in December, where you can enjoy all the classic offerings along with an ice-cold beer. In late June, it even added mister fans to help with the blistering South Texas heat.
Overall, Texas was well represented on the list. Houston had the most restaurants with Hubcap Grill, Christian’s Tailgate, Becks Prime, and Lankford Grocery all getting a nod. Austin received mentions for Second Bar + Kitchen, Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s Classic burger (also available in San Antonio), and Hut’s Hamburgers. Fort Worth and Buffalo Gap each had one burger included with Cowtown’s Love Shack earning the No. 32 slot for the Dirty Love Burger and the West Texas town’s Perini Ranch scoring a win for its basic hamburger.
Dallas scored some of the highest ratings on the list. Keller’s Drive-In was mentioned for its two-patty Number 5 Special, which ranked No. 66. Knife’s Ozersky Burger, coming soon to Austin with the opening of a future Knife Burger, landed at No. 37.
And at No. 17, the all-American cheeseburger at Dallas' Maple & Motor is the top Texas burger, according to The Daily Meal.